So this post will be short, because it’s really just the welcome mat into the Exhibition Room–which is hosting its very first exhibition! Woohoo! Sound off the kazoos and party poppers! Honestly, the room is so new the paint is still drying on the walls, but I hope you enjoy what I’ve curated there. The Exhibition is based on a speech J. R. R. Tolkien gave to the British Academy on Beowulf, a poem that became the inspiration for his series The Lord of the Rings.
To give you a quick background, Beowulf is an Anglo-Saxon poem written around the year 1000 A. D. It tells the story of a great hero called Beowulf, who saves a people from two monsters, though he is ultimately defeated in the end by an ancient dragon. His heroism goes down in legend. However, the manuscript itself lay forgotten in a monastery until 1536, when it was found and incorporated into the collection of an antiquarian named Sir Robert Cotton. Cotton’s collection was eventually transferred to the British Library, and though a fire singed the manuscript in 1731 and its first translation was destroyed by Napoleon’s attack on the Danish capital in 1807, the poem appeared in print for the first time in 1815.
There’s no ticket required to enter the exhibition, the staff only asks that you silence your cell phones so as not to disturb other visitors or attract the attention of the dragons who are holding their own exhibition on humans above us.
Have fun in the exhibit!